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California university provides free dental care to underprivileged children
Updated: 2/17/2010 7:00:09 PM

California university provides free dental care to underprivileged children As part of National Children's Dental Health Month, the University of California San Francisco Dental School hosted their annual Give Kids a Smile event on February 6, providing free preventative and restorative dental care services to underprivileged children.

Nearly 20 faculty members and more than 100 student volunteers pitched in to provide screenings, fluoride treatments and educational materials to children from low-income families with no dental insurance. Participants were also given free toothbrushes, floss and toothpaste to help them avoid tooth decay.

"Dental caries is a preventable infectious disease which can result in pain as well as systemic infection which in turn affects quality of life for children," said Nate Gerodias, assistant clinical professor of UCSF's division of pediatric dentistry.

"Way too often I have seen children come in for their first dental appointment which involved an extraction of an abscessed tooth," he added.

Childhood tooth decay is the single most common chronic childhood disease. However, a dentist can help prevent or reduce the incidence of decay by applying sealants to children's teeth.

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